Swim England

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Minimum depth for racing entries FAQs

World Aquatic’s guidance related to the minimum depth required for racing entries in swimming has been amended and should now be 1.35m. This follows a health and safety review conducted by the international governing body for swimming.

We have set out answers to some commonly asked questions below. If you have any other questions please email [email protected].

Minimum diving depths FAQs

Click or tap one of the topics below to head straight to those FAQs. Then click or tap the panels to reveal the answer to each question.

No, there is no difference, these are the same thing.

To comply with the new regulations, swimmers should start a race in the water if your pool is less than 1.35m at both ends.

You need to coach competitive starts in a minimum depth of 1.35m, so you need to find an area of the pool which meets these requirements. We would recommend that all clubs conduct a competency evaluation of any new member and their ability to perform a dive start in water of 1.8m. We would then recommend that all clubs follow the Swim England Competitive Start Awards to ensure that swimmers are able to safely perform a dive start from a block. Further information on the Competitive Start Awards is available here.

If you are a swimming teacher or coach who would like to upskill their knowledge on competitive starts, there is a CPD available for you to book on to. To find out more, click here.

All competitions on, or after, 1 September will need to comply with the 1.35m minimum depth requirement if swimmers intend to start using racing dives. If your pool does not comply with the requirement, swimmers should start in the water.

The blocks will need to be relocated but how this is done will differ for each venue.

International competitions delivered by FINA recognised bodies must also be 1.35m depth, so members will be covered by insurance at these competitions.

Swim England endeavors to engage with local authorities throughout the design phase to ensure facilities have the capacity to cater for all aquatic disciplines. Deep water is an essential criteria, not only for club swimming, but also in the teaching of diving entries and developing swimming ability. We therefore advocate a deep end in most new facilities of at least 1.8m.

The risk assessment is a mitigation we have put in place until 31 August 2023. From 1 September 2023, you must apply the minimum depth of 1.35m.

The FINA Facilities Rules can be found here.

The minimum depth guidance is available for all to view.

Working with the regions, contact will be made with all current licence holders for competitions to ensure they are aware of the gudiance. Those competitions who do not comply with the 1.35m requirement will need to adapt their delivery.

FINA regulations stipulate a minimum start/finish depth of 1.35m when diving from starting blocks.

We would recommend that you secure time in a pool with the required depth to complete the assesment. This could be done by a group of clubs facing the same challenge and share the costs.

Freeboard is the area from the pool water to the pool deck.

Click here for information on which teachers and coaches are able to teach and assess the Competitive Start Awards.

If you are an organisation affiliated with Swim England, you are required to comply with the guidance.

Each risk assessment is individual to the club, so it is difficult for us to provide definite guidance on the content of the risk assessment. We would recommend that you conduct a competency evaluation of all swimmers in water of 1.8m to avoid the risk of injury. This assessment should highlight to coaches and the swimmer what skill development, if any, is needed. The coaching team need to asses that a swimmer is able to perform a shallow dive and this needs to be clearly explained in your risk assessment. Coaches need to be aware of how to asses that copentancy and we strongly recommend that they complete the Competitive Starts CPD. More information on this can be found by clicking here. For more information on the Swim England Competitive Start Awards, click here.